Archive for October, 2012

Trick or Treat?

October 30, 2012

  group
Halloween week seems to be all about kids, candy and costumes. Tradition says if you show up on the doorstep in costume you get candy. If you don’t bother to dress up then expect to do a trick and hope to get candy.

The majority take time to don a costume. After all that’s half the fun, right?

Pictures here were taken last Saturday night at an annual Beautiful Witches Ball hosted by a  fellow speaker Kathy Davis who goes all out to decorate her home to the enth degree and beyond for this event. She gives it 110%. And the result? People wore costumes that looked like they took a year to make and came from as far as Dallas to attend (we were in Houston).

Notcha average Walgreens event.                                                   

In my presentations on extraordinary work performance I talk about giving work 110% of your energy, focus and talent to keep the job/get the customer in today’s tough economy. With unemployment at an all time high and more companies competing for the same customer, competition is also at an all time high. Employees need to do more than just what is asked of them. Businesses need to exceed customer expectations in service and value.

Failure to do so is tricking your company/client.

Success is about treating your company/client with 110% of you.

Boo.

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Teamwork that Works

October 23, 2012
 

Helping hands in the kitchen

In my speeches on extraordinary work performance I emphasize the importance of teams to achieve goals and deliver outstanding customer service…… 

 
Serving lunch to 500 of Houston’s homeless was a lesson in what makes up a good team. (It was also a kick-butt reminder to be grateful for all
I have!) 
Downtown Houston

Downtown Houston (Photo credit: telwink)

 
1. Show up
Reliability is severely underrated today.
People say they’ll do something but don’t follow through. It’s not just annoying, it’s weakness of character and ultimate failure for a team/organization. The leader at the homeless shelter said our team was the best of all groups that volunteered there because we had 100% team turnout 100% of the time resulting in 100% productivity.
 
 
2. Attitude
Success starts with having the right attitude.
One of our team members had to leave early. She was in the middle of our kitchen ‘chain gang’ serving bread. The woman next to her serving vegetable side dishes immediately took up the slack by taking on the bread duties. No complaints. Employees need the team attitude of  ‘all for one and one for all’ making the company goals a priority versus individual agendas. Whiners should be weeded out before they destroy team productivity and morale.
 
3. Appreciation
At one point in my presentations I talk about the power of praise.
I tell the story of how a few words of appreciation for a job well done made the world of difference to a disgruntled oil company employee. Business management guru Marcus Buckingham said people join companies but leave bosses and the #1 reason is they feel unappreciated. The team leader at the shelter was generous with his praise of our efforts (despite the sloppy mess I made scooping spaghetti) We worked hard. We left fulfilled.

Organizations need to cultivate a strong team culture.

Managers need to nurture team members.

Team members need to be willing to pull together for the sake of the company ‘coz without the company they don’t have jobs.

  

WHY FRANK SINATRA SHOULD BE PART OF YOUR HEALTH CARE PLAN

October 17, 2012


sinatra 

As a professional speaker that has played piano since the earth was cooling, I’m constantly amazed at the power of music and how it transforms people and events.

I was speaking to a group of healthcare professionals at their annual conference and told the story of when I was hired to perform a 60 minute musical program for Alzheimers patientsand their care givers. The audience age ranged from 40 to 75 years old.          

Hamburg Steinway D-274

Hamburg Steinway D-274 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Some patients were in the advanced stages of the disease and couldn’t remember their own name. Caregivers were stressed out and close to compassionate fatigue. The energy in the room was heavy and somewhat sad. Within seconds of playing ‘New York, New York‘ it happened…

Blank stares became bright eyes. Droopy heads lifted up. Toes tapped and hands clapped in tempo. Patients with no memory sang along perfectly to the music. Worn out care givers became energized and animated. Suddenly the atmosphere was alive and vibrant.

And the best part? No pills needed.

As the kickoff speaker for that healthcare conference, and since I’m kinda funny and play piano during my presentations on workplace performance, the precedent was set for the whole event. Attendees left feeling happy.

Can you put a price on happy? Do you have a prescription for happy? If you’re a healthcare professional how do you define happy?

I’d be happy to hear your thoughts.

Doo-bee-doo-bee-doo…

Five Top Tips For Starting A Successful Business

October 9, 2012
As a professional speaker on workplace performance, I’m always looking for helpful hints to share. These tips by Sir Richard Branson of Virgin Airlines fame, apply to anyone working as a manager today.
  

richard
LinkedIn is a business that started in a living room, much like Virgin began in a basement, I thought my first blog on the site should be about how to simply start a successful business. Here are five top tips I’ve picked up over the years.

 1. Listen more than you talk

 We have two ears and one mouth, using them in proportion is not a bad idea! To be a good leader you have to be a great listener. Brilliant ideas can spring from the most unlikely places, so you should always keep your ears open for some shrewd advice. This can mean following online comments as closely as board meeting notes, or asking the frontline staff for their opinions as often as the CEOs. Get out there, listen to people, draw people out and learn from them.

 2. Keep it simple

 You have to do something radically different to stand out in business. But nobody ever said different has to be complex. There are thousands of simple business solutions to problems out there, just waiting to be solved by the next big thing in business. Maintain a focus upon innovation, but don’t try to reinvent the wheel. A simple change for the better is far more effective than five complicated changes for the worse.

3. Take pride in your work

Last week I enjoyed my favorite night of the year, the Virgin Stars of the Year Awards, where we celebrated some of those people who have gone the extra mile for us around the Virgin world. With so many different companies, nationalities and personalities represented under one roof, it was interesting to see what qualities they all have in common. One was pride in their work, and in the company they represent. Remember your staff are your biggest brand advocates, and focusing on helping them take pride will shine through in how they treat your customers.

4. Have fun, success will follow

If you aren’t having fun, you are doing it wrong. If you feel like getting up in the morning to work on your business is a chore, then it’s time to try something else. If you are having a good time, there is a far greater chance a positive, innovative atmosphere will be nurtured and your business will flourish. A smile and a joke can go a long way, so be quick to see the lighter side of life.

5. Rip it up and start again

If you are an entrepreneur and your first venture isn’t a success, welcome to the club! Every successful business person has experienced a few failures along the way – the important thing is how you learn from them. Don’t allow yourself to get disheartened by a setback or two, instead dust yourself off and work out what went wrong. Then you can find the positives, analyze where you can improve, rip it up and start again.